Use the sun for backlighting in your portraits

Matt Bennett

Incorporating strong sunlight behind your subject is a great way of creating dramatic images!

Portrait with backlighting
Portrait with backlighting

Now that summer is on its way in the northern hemisphere, there’s the opportunity to shoot images that feature the sun, including portraits.

As a rule of thumb, avoid having your subject facing the sun – this will rarely result in the best images. However, strong sunlight behind your subject can look really good indeed – either as backlighting, a touch of artistic flare or both.

You simply the need the sun to be fairly low in the sky – so later afternoon/early evening is the best time to give this a go. Try deliberately overexposing your image slightly.

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